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Berkeley Police Investigate Credit Card Skimming Reports

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday April 01, 2010 - 12:16:00 PM

Berkeley Police Department fraud detectives are currently looking at approximately 10 cases where community members say they have been victims of credit card skimming scams. 

Berkeley police spokesperson Jamie Perkins said Wednesday that the cases were under investigation and detectives “have not yet identified a point of compromise,” meaning the police don’t know yet where the victims’ credit cards were fraudulently used. 

In the meanwhile, police are asking Berkeley residents to check their bank accounts for any suspicious activity and report it immediately. 

Anyone who has been a victim of this crime or witnesses it occurring in the city should contact the Berkeley Police Dispatch at 981-5900. 

Perkins said that the investigation was not internal and had stemmed from a community tip. 

“We investigate fraud cases on an ongoing basis, so it’s not something new,” Perkins said. “We are not seeing a sudden increase in fraud cases or anything. The story didn’t start with our detectives. This information was running in other media outlets.” 

An undercover operation at a gas station in Martinez recently led to two Los Angeles men being charged for installing skimming devices on a gas pump. 

Police have also found devices at stations in Oakland, Hayward, Livermore and other cities. 

Perkins said that BDP did not have a single case confirmed in Berkeley where a skimming device was used. 

According to Perkins, a lay person may not recognize skimming devices on ATMs and gas pumps which capture credit card information or use a camera to take pictures of a customer’s pin number.